The Business Laws (Amendment) (No.2) Act, 2021 received Presidential assent on 30 March 2021 and brought amendments to several statutes into effect, many of which are geared towards improving the ease of doing business in Kenya. One of the affected statutes is the Insolvency Act, 2015 and this article explores the impact of some of the changes on businesses and creditors.
Christine Murangi has experience in energy, projects, infrastructure insolvency and restructurings. She advises a broad range of clients including, project sponsors, government and financial institutions and private parties in the power, infrastructure (including public-private partnerships), renewables, and oil, gas and mining sectors.
She also advises lenders, debtors, government entities, shareholders as well as distressed debt and asset buyers and investors on various aspects including, restructurings and insolvency options (where relevant). Christine has also advised various insolvency practitioners in respect of their mandates.
Experience has included advising:
- The Kenyan government on the procurementof a proposed second Nyali PPP Project in Mombasa County
- A private party on the development of a Special Economic Zone in Kenya through a PPP arrangement
- A private party on the structuring, concession documentation and licensing in respect of a road project under Kenya's road annuity program
- A private party on the investment and development of ports and industrial city in Kenya in the form of unsolicited investment proposals
- Lenders on the financing of a 981.75 MW coal-fired power plant in Lamu County, Kenya
- Project sponsors in respect of a 40 MW solar power project in Makindu, Makueni County
- Sponsors and developers in respect of 7.5MW hydro power project in Bungoma County, Kenya
- Sponsors and developers in respect of 4 hydro power projects
- A developer of a 140 MW geothermal power project in Kenya
- A leading retail supermarket chain in East Africa in respect of standstill arrangements with lenders and restructuring of its business
- Lenders in respect of restructuring and subsequent administration of a leading building materials producer in East Africa
- Receivers of a renewable energy project including the sale of key assets.
- An international company on the recovery of monies following administration of its consortium partner
- Lenders in respect of the restructuring, recovery and insolvency options for a leading producer of cookware, and commercial rolling and roofing products in East Africa
- A group of lenders and their advisors in respect of restructuring of a leading provider of transport and logistics solutions in East Africa in financial distress
- Advocate admitted to the High Court of Kenya (2014)
- Kenya School of Law, Diploma in Law (2014)
- University of Nairobi, Bachelor of Laws, LL.B. (2012)
- 2019 to date, Senior Associate, IKM, DLA Piper Africa member firm in Kenya
- 2015 to 2018, Associate, IKM, DLA Piper Africa member firm in Kenya
- 2014 to 2014, Pupil, IKM, DLA Piper Africa member firm in Kenya
- 2012 to 2013, Legal Assistant, Nairobi-based IT company
- Member of the Law Society of Kenya
- Member of the East Africa Law Society
- Member of the International Project Finance Association
Globally, analysts agree that investments in the infrastructure sector will play a big role in the post pandemic recovery efforts due to their multiplier effect.
Energy and infrastructure projects have for the longest time attracted the attention of ESG (environmental, social and governance) regulators and watchdogs. More recently however, ESG concepts have gained prominence in almost all other sectors of the global economy as boardrooms all over the world move to integrate ESG principles and metrics in their decision making.
In recent years, the media has been smattered with reports of companies in deep financial distress. Prominent among them are major leaguers such as Nakumatt Holdings, ARM Cement and more recently, Mumias Sugar Company. As observers collectively ponder what went wrong with these companies, market players are keenly watching to see if the provisions of the Insolvency Act, 2015 can help to put the situation right, keeping in mind that there may be many more casualties in the pipeline as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.